June 16th Will Be National Forklift Safety Day

Photo courtesy of Toyota Forklifts at flickr.com
Photo courtesy of Toyota Forklifts at flickr.com

Mark your calendars: Tuesday, June 16th is National Forklift Safety Day.

The third annual event is sponsored by the Industrial Truck Association and its purpose is to bring more focus to the safe use of forklifts and the importance or providing the appropriate training to forklift operators.

According to the ITA, National Forklift Safety Day provides an opportunity for industry leaders to educate forklift users and lawmakers on the administration of safe forklift operational practices.

Talking About Safety

Businesses and individuals that use forklifts are encouraged to set aside some time on Tuesday to discuss forklift safety and review training procedures. The idea is that spending a little time talking about forklift safety on a day dedicated to the issue will help promote safe practices all year round, according to the ITA.

“Forklift safety has many aspects,” the group stated in a news release announcing this year’s event. “The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) enforces regulations governing the manufacture and operation of powered industrial trucks. The Industrial Truck Standards Development Foundation … administers the development of consensus safety standards for manufacturing and using industrial trucks. These standards reflect the considered judgment of industry, government safety officials, users, and private safety experts on issues of forklift safety.”

More to Safety then Just Rules

But that’s not all there is to forklift safety, says the ITA.

“OSHA has incorporated these consensus standards by reference into the federal regulations,” the group stated. “Updating the consensus standards and working to have them recognized in the federal regulation is an ongoing process. But safety doesn’t come from writing good standards and regulations. It comes from knowing and following them. In other words, it comes from our awareness and commitment.”

And that’s why National Forklift Safety Day is so important: It enhances the industry’s awareness and renews its commitment to forklift safety.

National Forklift Safety Day Events

In recognition of National Forklift Safety Day, the ITA will sponsor an event June 14 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel on Capitol Hill, in Washington, D.C. The event will feature speakers from the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration — the federal agency responsible for implementing forklift safety rules in workplaces nationwide — as well as from the National Safety Council.

The chairman of the Congressional subcommittee that oversees OSHA and key industry representatives also are expected to participate.

The first National Forklift Safety Day was held in 2014, but forklifts themselves have been an important part of the industrial and commercial landscape since 1917. Since then, annual sales of forklifts in the US tops 19,000 vehicles.

Lobbying for the Forklift Industry

The ITA is a lobbying organization that is supported by members of industry manufacturers of lift trucks, tow tractors, rough terrain vehicles, hand-pallet trucks and Automated Guided Vehicles. The group represents more than 90% of the forklift manufacturers in the US and Canada. Suppliers of component parts and accessories may also join as associate members.

The ITA has established the Industrial Truck Standards Development Foundation and has built relationships with global associations throughout the Alliance of Industrial Truck Organizations. It also works closely with OSHA to save lives and avoid countless injuries by adopting new and updated safety regulations and operator training.